Playing Cyberpunk for the first time is like stepping into an even more brutal version of Blade Runner.
It’s got that futuristic oppressive darkness of the classic movie but even more death and destruction.
And it’s very good.
CD Projekt Red have come up trumps again with a sprawling role-play game set in Night City and where you’ll find yourself battling to not only survive but thrive among the degenerates and bio-enhanced humans of the future.
The level of detail is incredible, starting at the character creator at the beginning of the game where you not only pick all aspects of your physical appearance but even your penis size.
Within the first few hours you choose one of three backgrounds for your character too, I went for a nomad-like early life growing up in redneck poor outskirts towns, where I’d ran with clans of never-do-wells before my trip to the big lights of the city.
Equally you can choose to come from a privileged upper class background for example.
Once in the main part of the game the detail of Night City is quite something, there are vibrant people everywhere and the map itself is packed full of things to see and do.
It feels, thanks to the incredibly refined next-gen graphics, like a living, bustling breathing world, a giant overcrampt sprawl of a place, packed with oddballs and characters you’ll desperately want to meet and chat with.
And the action comes thick and fast. The gunplay is solid and the firefights and bloody hand-to-hand brawls feel more like something out of a close combat shooter game than an RPG.
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There are multiple ways to take on a mission, from stealth assassin-style takedowns to all our guns blazing warfare.
This helps to keep the story interesting, pumping along at pace.
And with a tightly written script and real depth to the writing, the player will feel fully immersed in this frightening hell hole of a city while the adrenaline fizzles during the action moments.
It’s all held together by some excellent starring performances from the voice cast, with Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand an obvious highlight.
Sometimes it felt the gore and shock factor were overly ramped up, they love to throw blood and sexual imagery at you in this game.
And I’m aware of reports of glitchy bugs some have suffered, but I didn’t experience that myself in this Xbox version. The game was smooth and worked fluidly.
There are many dozens of hours of gameplay in Cyberpunk and for RPG fans willing to grind up the skill trees that’ll keep them going well into the new year.
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But I suspect some casual gamers who buy the title based on the glitzy telly adverts might not like the lengthy build of the 20+ hour storyline and the need for many more hours of commitment to really get the most out of this game. Be warned, it’s a real marathon, not a sprint like Call of Duty or Spider-Man Miles Morales.
But the makers have done a sterling job here creating an immersive and frightening future world.
One packed to the nines full of realistic, complex characters with huge detail in the various conversations you can choose to have with them.
The adult themes and visuals aren’t for the faint hearted.
But if you’re willing to loose yourself in Cyberpunk for the long term you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of a strong role-player that’s flowing with action missions.
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